Lithic movement and exchange across the Adriatic. Robert Tykot

published: 16 Oct 2015  |  
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  • SESSION 2 – Ancient lithic trade and economics
    Lithic movement and exchange across the Adriatic: PXRF analysis and interpretation of prehistoric obsidian and chert in Italy and Croatia

    Studies of the direction of lithic movement may contribute significantly to our understanding of the spread of the Neolithic package (domesticated plants and animals, ceramics, year-round settlements) from the eastern Mediterranean westward. In the central and western Mediterranean, the first movement and exchange of obsidian begins at the onset of the Neolithic (ca. 6th millennium B.C.E.), and includes the circulation of these raw materials over 1,000 kilometers or more from the Aeolian island of Lipari and from the Carpathian sources in northeastern Hungary and Slovakia. Obsidian artifacts have been found at many sites near the coast of Croatia and on many islands in the central Adriatic, suggesting regular maritime transport.

    This study combines the analytical results on sourcing obsidian in Croatia and Italy with those from a pilot study sourcing chert. These results are also combined with techno-typological studies of the lithic reduction sequences. The combination of their pathways with other archaeological data is used to address the economic structure of the Neolithic in the central and western Mediterranean.

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